For his exhibition at Spike Island, London-based artist Paul Simon Richards presents Quasi-Monte Carlo (2019), an ambitious new video work exploring patterns of randomisation and their role in the production of an image.
The work combines computer generated imagery and spoken word monologue in an attempt to depict an image of a dream holiday to Monte Carlo. Memories, fantasies, paranoia and desires cohere in a kaleidoscopic narrative that oscillates between the mundane and the spectacular.
Quasi-Monte Carlo is part of an ongoing body of video works dating back to 2016. The series takes its title from the name of the algorithm that Richards has used to produce the CGI footage that appears in different forms throughout these works. The equation that underpins this algorithm was originally devised during the late 19th century in and around the Monte Carlo Casino, where the work was filmed. Combining this formula with techniques borrowed from hypnotic induction and structural film, Quasi-Monte Carlo seeks to draw a link between the creation of an image in our minds – which involves the rapid processing of random information – and the creation of digital images, relating human error to questions of probability and random access.
The work includes performances by actress and Richards’ long-term collaborator, Jacky Bahbout. Costumes are designed by artist Claire Hooper and the score is produced by experimental musician Kenichi Iwasa.
Paul Simon Richards (b. 1981, UK, lives and works in London) studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and holds a MA Philosophy from the University of Greenwich, London. Recent solo exhibitions include L*a*b, Arcade, London; Love’s Hidden Symmetry, AND/OR, London (both 2016); and Voices at Nile Sunset Annex, Cairo (2015). His work has featured in group exhibitions at venues such as The Showroom, London; Frieze Art Fair (with Lucky PDF), London; Galerie kunstbuero, Vienna; Jerwood Space, London; and Modern Art Oxford; and film festivals such as the BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta section.
Quasi-Monte Carlo is commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England. With additional support from Monte Carlo Société des Bains de Mer; Ranch Computing; Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London and Gasworks. Produced by Paul Simon Richards.